Pitṛ (Skt., ‘father’). The ancestors (pl., pitaras), who dwell in the pitṛ-loka, which is sometimes identified with heaven (svarga). Funeral rituals (śrāddha) are essential to maintain the pitṛs in their proper state—and for that purpose, a son is necessary. In the Brāhmaṇas, the pitṛyāna becomes a place of judgement.
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